Post-Baccalaureate Program

  • Adolescence Certification for Career Change Emphasizing Secondary Schools (ACCESS) prepares you to teach at the middle/junior/senior high school level, if you already have a background in a secondary teaching content area. 
  • Dual certification in special education grades 7-12 is available. 
  • Learn about adolescent learners and master the skills and methods to create learning-centered, engaging lessons that are standards-based.

Program is Ideal For

  • Someone with a master’s degree in a subject area who wants teaching certification for that subject (biology, chemistry, physics, English, math, history/social studies, theatre, Chinese, French, German, Italian, or Spanish).
  • If you don’t have a master’s degree, Nazareth’s Inclusive Adolescence Education master’s program could be the better option.

Career Information

  • Becoming dual-certified — able to teach a subject area and meet the needs of special education secondary students (grades 7-12) — positions you well for employment.
  • Jobs include secondary content area teachers, consultant teachers, resource room teachers, integrated co-teachers, and self-contained special education classroom teachers.

What to Expect

  • Complete the program in four semesters
  • 100 hours of fieldwork and 14 weeks of student teaching
  • 6-week special education practicum (for those seeking dual certification in students with disabilities)
  • Get New York state initial teacher certification in adolescence education (grades 7-12) for your content area and students with disabilities (generalist, grades 7-12).

Curriculum Examples (34 Credits)

  • Principles of Teaching, Learning & Assessment for Diverse Secondary Learners 
  • Social Foundations of Education 
  • Language, and Literacy Development 
  • Foundations of Teaching Secondary Students with Disabilities 
  • Motivation and Management 
  • Curriculum Methodology 
  • Full Curriculum

Tuition and Fees

ACCESS students pay undergraduate tuition rates for all but one course. Tuition rate is part-time except for final term, which is full-time. Program costs »

Graduate tuition is eligible for the Educational Partner Network discount.

Application Process

Application Deadlines

  • Fall term: Rolling through Aug. 1


  • Bachelor's degree, and preferably a master's degree from an accredited institution
  • Cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 and a B average in your major field

How to Apply

1. Apply through the online form, which includes submitting a professional statement, and resume. See below for more details.


Include information about your degree(s), employment experience, and specialized skills, training, and/or certification(s).

Professional Statement

In this essential component of the application:

  • Explain your reasons for seeking this certification program.
  • Include any information that will advance your candidacy, such as personal and professional attributes and goals, volunteer and professional experiences related to the program to which you are applying, and other related life experiences.
  • Describe your future academic plans and anticipated contributions to the specific profession for which this program will prepare you.

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is expected. If you did not meet that minimum or if you did not have a B average in your major field, you also must address each of the following in your professional statement:

  1. Explain why your grades were below Nazareth's minimum expectations.
  2. Explain your potential to positively contribute to the teaching profession.
  3. Describe relevant experiences and/or activities that demonstrate your ability to successfully complete graduate work at Nazareth University.
  4. Outline specific procedures you will follow to successfully navigate and meet the rigorous requirements of graduate study.
Letters of Recommendation
  • Request two letters of recommendation be mailed or sent electronically to the Office of Graduate Admissions ( The letters of recommendation must specifically address your potential as a beginning teacher, and must be from people who are not friends or relatives and who have direct knowledge of your ability to work in an educational setting
  • Or you can use a credential file for this requirement if the letters were submitted for the purpose of graduate study, not for employment. If you have this type of file, have your college send it to Nazareth’s Graduate Admissions office.
  • These recommendations are used only for admission to a graduate program at Nazareth University. Graduate Admissions will dispose of all letters of recommendation following the admissions review process.


2. Request official transcripts from all colleges attended be mailed or sent electronically to the Office of Graduate Admissions ( If you graduated from Nazareth, we will obtain your Nazareth transcript for you.

Transcript details
  • International applicants: Submit English-translated transcripts, including bachelor's or higher degree equivalency through a NACES-certified evaluation service such as World Education Service, Educational Credential Evaluations, or SpanTran. (The evaluation is at the expense of the student.) Also see international admissions requirements.

After applying

  • Eligible candidates will be invited for a required interview with the program director.
  • Upon acceptance, you’ll receive instructions about registering for courses.

Ask a Question

Eric Morris, alum of post-baccalaureate secondary education NYS teacher certification program

The ACCESS program "turned out to be an incredibly valuable asset to my future, launching my career in a spectacular way," says Eric Morris '12GRead how Nazareth’s program provided a speedy path to his goal and led directly to this career changer’s first two teaching jobs.